a & b -abbreviation for assault and battery, to threaten and strike a blow with bodily harm.
A.& H. A. Co. - abbreviation for Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.
A. B. - abbreviation for Bachelor of Art degree granted by a college or university after four years of prescribed study.
ab actis - (Latin) Notary Public.
abate - to put an end to, as to abate a nuisance; curtail, terminate, cease.
abatement - the action, process or result of terminating, ending, or curtailing. A land abatement would be, as example, curtailing the use or trespass of another.
abbey - convent or monastery, the actual buildings or the society of monks governed by an abbot, or of nuns governed by an abbess.
abbott - the head, chief superior, or chief administrative officer in an abbey.
abdominal typhus - a form of typhus fever in which bluish spots appear on the abdomen shortly after the inception of the disease.
abet - as in "aid and abet" - the knowledge as well as encouragement in committing a crime.
abeyance - expectation or contemplation of law, as when an estate has no heir or person who is entitled to it, it is said to be in abeyance. Also a state of suspension.
ab initis - (Latin) from the beginning or from the start.
ab intestato - (Latin) one who has died without making a will.
able-bodied - a person who is shown to have no bodily defects which would prevent him from preforming his work or military service.
abode - a place of habitation, a home or house; where one lives.
abolitionist - one who is extremely and actively opposed to slavery
abril - (Spanish) April
abstract - a condensed form of data or information contained in a document or book of records; a proper abstract should give essentially the same information as the original document, but without excess wordage.
abstract books - record books being a condensed "abstract" of the information contained on deeds or land entries, usually by the names of the purchasers.
abstract of title - a "history' of one piece of land by which successive changes in the ownership are shown by reference to deeds or other documents or matters relating to the grantees in the passage of ownership. Used frequently in real estate sales today to prove who sold the land had a legal right to do so without hindrance or lien.
abutt - to adjoin, or border, as a piece of land abutts land of another.
Acadia - early name of Nova Scotia, a providence in Canada.
accelerated index - an index prepared by computer, as a census index.
accession number - the number assigned by a library or archivist denoting the place of time acquired of an individual book or manuscript within a collection.
accommodation -sometimes referring to land given by a town to a family wishing to settle there, in colonial times.
account - report of an administrator or executor in handling an estate, listing purchases and settlement of debts.
accrue - the act of accumulating or of increasing by its own accord, as interest accrued to money in a savings account.
acht - (German) eight
achtzehn - (German) eighteen
achtzig - (German) eighty
acquit - to satisfy, release, clear or discharge from suspicion, accusation, or obligation.
acquittal - a court term indicating one is freed from charge or suspicion in court action. "Not Guilty".
acre - a measure of land of 160 square rods. or 43,560 square feet. At one time it was considered to be the amount of land that one man could plow in a single day, with the aid of a team of oxen.
action - in the legal sense, a course of a charge or accusation; a lawsuit, an injunction.
A. D. - used in conjunction with a year date Anno Domini, literally "Year of our Lord", and opposed to "B. C." (before Christ):
ad hoc - (Latin) for this special reason.
ad interam - (Latin) in the meantime.
Adjutant General's Report - reports published by the federal government, relating usually to one particular state, listing therein the soldiers from that state who had participated in a given war, including date of enlistment, place of enlistment, ranks, date and place of discharge, mortality, and other pertinent details on file. These were usually multiple volume works.
adjure - to put on to his oath, to bind under the penalty of a curse; to charge or entreat solemnly as if under oath.
administration - the process of setting up legal action to work in a particular probate case and its method of operation until the estate is settled. Usually involves the collection, management and distribution of an estate by the legal processes so indicated.
administration bond - a bond, money or the guarantee of money posted by the person or persons selected to administer an estate, to guarantee that such person or persons will observe the job satisfactorily to law and legal procedure.
administration cum testamento - this is an administration of an estate granted by the court when the deceased person has left a will, but has (1) failed to name an executor, (2) the person named as executor is incapable of acting, or (3) the person named refuses to act as the executor. Literally, "Administration with will Attached".
administration de bonis non - administration of the goods for a deceased person which have not already been administered of distributed by a former administrator or executor. An additional administration.
administration de bonis cum testamento annexo - administration ordered by the court when the executor or administrator of an estate has died, leaving a portion of the estate still unadministered.
administration of estates - the duties normally include the collection of any amounts due the deceased person, the payment of existing debts and those found to be valid, and the distribution of the remaining assets to the proper heirs, by the administrator or executor.
administration with will annexed - see "administration cum testamento annexo". also abbreviated "C.T.A."
administrator - a person who is appointed by the court to collect the assets, pay the debts, and distribute the remaining property to the proper heirs. Normally an administrator is appointed by the probate court when the deceased has failed to leave a will, as opposed to an executor who preforms these functions as a duty requested by a person in a will of that person. An administrator must post bond with sureties as a requirement.
administrator deed - a sale performed by the administrator of an estate, on behalf of the estate, of a deceased person's land and property, is evidenced by a deed from the administrator as such to the purchaser. This can include such real property as land, slaves, household goods, cattle, etc. Such a deed is usually indexed in the name of the administrator.
administratrix - a female administrator.
Admiralty Court - an English court, which handled matters concerning ships and seamen. Such courts were held in the U. S. until the Revolutionary War.
admissible evidence - evidence judged to be accurate enough and pertinent enough to be used as legal evidence in a court action.
admr. - administrator.
adms. - administrator.
admx. - administratrix.
adoption records - legal records which show the adoption of a child by others, listing the name and the child, the names of the actual parents. In most cases these are not open for public inspection or research.
adult - grown up, having reached the age of maturity. Also, of legal age, i.e., an age which permits him or her to be treated as an adult person, in civil or legal matters. This varies in different states and for different matters. In common law in many states this is the age of twenty-one.
ad valorem - (Latin) according to the value.
advancement - a gift of land or other property, or money, given by a person before his death; usually a gift by a parent, in lieu of inheritance.
adventists - religious groups centering belief of the second coming of Christ. Seventh-Day Adventists adopted in 1846 Saturday as their Sabbath.
ad verbatum - (Latin) literally, or in full.
advocate - one who pleads, intercedes or speaks for another in any court of justice.
affair - a skirmish or small battle.
affaint - a person who makes or swears to an affidavit or to some fact, event, circumstance or matter.
affidavit - a written, sworn statement made before a judge or other official authorized to administer an oath, of facts, circumstances, or events.
affinity - relationship by marriage, between the man and wife and relatives of each; kinship. A connection by marriage rather than blood relation.
affirmation - an action of declaring true; confirming; assertion. Also a solemn declaration, having the value and penalties of an oath, by persons who conscientiously decline taking an oath.
African Consumption - a term applied to consumption when suffered by a Negro, usually a slave.
African Methodist Episcopal Church - a church of the American Negro denomination founded 1794 by Richard Allen.
after the fact - an event or occurrence occurring after the matter on which court action is instituted.
ager - archaic word for ague.
agosto - (Spanish) August
agreement - a contract, usually written and duly sworn to, between parties specifying what will or will not be done.
ague - a malarial type of fever, with yawning, sweating, and a feeling of lassitude and lethergy, accompanied by blueness of fingernails and cold chills, followed by raging heat and headaches, and then a return to normal but with repetition. Also called ager.
aide - see aide-de-camp.
aide-de-camp - a military staff officer who assists a general or superior officer in the field by conveying his orders and procuring intelligence reports.
a. k. a. - abbreviation for "also known as"
a. l. - abbreviation for signed or autographed letter.
A. L. A. - American Library Association.
alack - an exclamation of pity, shame, regret, surprise, grief, or concern.
alackaday - see alack; woe the day !
Alamo - the fort in Bexar County, Texas (San Antonio) where heroic but hopeless defense in February 1836 against Santa Anna's demands for surrender, roused intense spirit and anger among Texans, who six weeks later defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto crying "Remember the Alamo:"
alarm - as "sound the alarm:"; notice of an attack by spreading the word.
albeit - although it be.
alcalde - a sheriff, justice, mayor or judge in Spain, Portugal, and Spanish territories.
aldermen - a man of high rank; the governor of a district: the chief executive officer of a guild; a municipal officer rank next to the mayor representing a ward.
Aleman - (Spanish) German
Alemania - (Spanish) Germany
alewife - a woman who keeps a tavern; also a small fish, related to the herring, used as food for pigs and as fertilizer in colonial period.
alfpenny - a halfpenny, a bronze coin worth two farthings, or half a penny.
alias - an assumed name, a name used previously or by which one is known, other than his own.
alibi - the plea of having been elsewhere at the time of any alleged act; and excuse.
alien - foreign; a person born outside of the country in which he is living, and who has not become a citizen of that country, thus having no right to vote or certain other legal rights.
alienate - to turn away from, such as to alienate colonies from a mother country.
allodial title - property held in absolute ownership, without obligation.
all hands - officers and all men of an entire ship.
All's Well" - a call made periodically by guards signifying that there is no trouble and the guard is at his post.
ally - one united with another by treaty or agreement; archaic term for kindred.
almanac - a popular annual publication issued in soft binding both in England and America since the earliest Colonial days; owned by most households in early times, serving both as entertainment and as an important source for general information. It might contain weather forecast for the entire year, advice on when to plant crops, suggested home remedies for illnesses of both man and beast; tables of coins and interest; distances between towns, and both inspirational and entertaining essays.
almoner - a distribution of alms to the poor on behalf of a person, community, or church.
alms - charitable gifts of food, money or clothing to the poor.
almshouse - a house founded by private charity for the aged or poor; at one time, referred to a house belonging to a monastery for dispensing same.
Algonquin Indians - North American Indian people, indigenous to Canada and to the U.S. east of the Mississippi, friendly to the French and latter dispersed by the Iroquois Indians.